Migraine (1970, revised edition 1992)
Paperback, Vintage Books, ISBN 0-375-70406-x

An investigation of the many manifestations of migraine, including the visual hallucinations and distortions of space, time and body image which migraineurs can experience.

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For centuries, physicians and migraineurs have been fascinated by the many manifestations of migraine, and especially by the visual hallucinations or auras- similar in some ways to those induced by hallucinogenic drugs or deliria–which often precede a migraine. In this revised edition of his first book, Dr. Sacks describes these hallucinatory constants and what they reveal about the working of the brain, drawing on recent advances in chaos theory and neural simulation. Migraine, he writes, can give us a most direct and privileged view not only of the secrets of neuronal organization, but also of the self-organizing systems of nature–recently described by chaos theorists–which often remain hidden in our daily lives.

Beyond this, Dr. Sacks finds a fascination in the multiple forms of migraine and the many triggers which may set them off–and of the crucial importance of considering the role played by migraine in each individual’s life.

Dr. Sacks on Migraine:

“My firstborn, written in a burst (nine days!) in 1967, stimulated in part by working in a migraine clinic and in part by a wonderful book (Liveing’s On Megrim) written a century earlier.”

Praise for Migraine:

“Written by one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century, Migraine , intended for the general public, should be read as much for its brilliant insights into the nature of our mental functioning as for its discussion of migraine.”
– Israel Rosenfield, The New York Times Book Review

“I am sure…that any layman who is at all interested in the relation between the body and mind…will find the book as fascinating as I have.”
– W. H. Auden, The New York Review of Books

“Balanced, authoritative…brilliant.”
– The Times (London)

“Oliver Sacks’s commentary is so erudite, so gracefully written, that even those people fortunate enough never to have had a migraine in their lives should find it equally compelling.”
– Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

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